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Released in 2012: This bagless canister vacuum has a 3-speed motor and cyclonic design, identified by model number 78423.

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Any advice on how to clean the pleated filter?

It is impossible to find any information on this vacuum on the internet! I see that this Kenmore model (115.78423210) has been discontinued, but I need to clean the pleated filter since I cannot find any replacement parts on this discontinued vacuum.

I am wondering if the part with the pleated filter can be soaked in a cleaning solution, or not (something like white vinegar). I also lost the foam filter (black on one side, white on the other) which goes next to the pleated yellow filter. I am unsure if the pleated filter is a HEPA filter or not, since there is no online manual for this particular model.

Having lost the foam black and white filter, the pleated filter is getting everything stuck between the pleats. Taking a toothbrush to the filter and brushing the debris out is no longer effective.

Any advice on whether I can soak the pleated filter?...or suggestions for another efficient way to clean it out?

Also any suggestions as to if there is a foam filter that I can buy which is compatible with this vacuum? (I measured the plastic casing of the pleated filter to see what size foam filter it would need and I measured about 4.25" x 4.25")

Thanks in advance!

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Hi Morgan,

Well, I put my not inconsiderable internet shopping skills to work on your filters, but I'm sorry to say that I didn't have any more luck than you did.

So here's what I did find. The only place I found that even lists your filters is a Sears Hometown site.

Kenmore 83003-1/2 83004 Canister Filter Pack model

The bad news is they list that part as out of stock for the few zip codes I tried; not knowing yours I couldn't check it, but I'm skeptical that they're available anywhere. However, they do have a picture that you might be able to use as a pattern to cut another foam filter sheet.

Block Image

Speaking of which, you mentioned that the foam filter is about 4-1/4" x 4-1/4", and I ran across some foam filters that are listed as 5" x 5" that should work with the help of a pair of scissors.

UltraCare Replacement CF-1 Kenmore Canister Vacuum Motor Filter 81002 - Kitchen Scales

As far as the pleated filter, the only thing I've ever done with them is to use a brush attachment on another vacuum and use that to vacuum out the pleats; I'm not sure what would work best for actual cleaning, especially given that it's almost certainly paper and won't take much damage from liquids.

As far as finding a substitute, that's a little trickier. From what I can see of the picture, the filter element appears to sit in a plastic frame. If that frame can be disassembled, it might be possible to find a paper element roughly the same size and fit it into the frame. My best idea on that would be to take your filter to a vacuum cleaner store and see if they can help you find something close that you can use.

Sorry I couldn't be more help, but hopefully that will get you started and let you keep using your vacuum.

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My comment to you was ridiculously long (sorry) so it was disallowed from being a comment by the site. I didn't want to shorten it because I wanted to acknowledge the time and energy a stranger put in to helping me. Therefore, my response to your advice is posted as an answer to my question



Hey Jerry,

Wow, Thank you so much for helping me so thoroughly!! I honestly wasn't expecting a response. When I seen that there was a response, I definitely didn't expect it to be so detailed and helpful!

I just placed my order for the foam filter that you linked! that will make a huge difference in extending the life of the vacuum cleaner and keeping my old pleated filter from getting clogged up! Much Appreciated!! I think the 5"x5" will fit fine, and if it is a tad big, I can trim it as you suggested!

I have a pretty powerful VACMASTER [VBV1210, 5 Peak HP** Wet/Dry] "shop vac" that I use when I can, for nearly all vacuuming around the house; but having this old little vacuum in decent working order makes life a lot easier for smaller jobs where I don't have to lug the big Vacmaster around. I also am the type of person to use products as long as I possibly can instead of buying something newer and better. I can't believe that I didn't think to use my powerful vacuum to clean the pleated filter! It seems like common sense, yet it didn't even cross my mind—so thank you! My Vacmaster also doubles as a "leaf" blower, so I could maybe try blowing the backside of the pleats to see if it forces any additional dust/debris out. These dry methods will definitely give some more life to this little vacuum. I'll be trying it out as soon as the foam filters are delivered on my carpeted stairs (which was the whole reason I pulled this little old vacuum out and tried to bring it back to life!). I will use these methods until the pleated filter is beyond helping, then test out the rinsing/soaking in the future when it is a last resort before retiring the vacuum.

No need for apologizing, your response was remarkably thorough and helpful! If this were my only vacuum and I was in a pinch, your advice would have been a godsend! I imagine that anyone else looking for info on this vacuum will benefit from this in the future as well!

Again, Thank you for your time and kindness!


You are very welcome, @morganadair.

Part of my job is to look at a problem from every angle and find a solution that's appropriate to the problem, so I tried to find answers to as much of your issue as I could.

I agree with the whole philosophy of this site that repairing our stuff is absolutely the best way to reduce waste and conserve our resources, so it's great that you have some of that attitude too.

While thanks are really not necessary, everyone likes being recognized and appreciated, myself included, so I thank you for your kind words. I'm glad I was able to help. Of course, should you need assistance in the future, we'll be here!


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